Sour Milk and Beet Soup.

sour milk and beets cold soupThis post is the continuation of the Sour Milk topic. It sounds crazy, but, yes, people make soup from sour milk. It is very popular in Poland and the rest of Eastern Europe. We call it chłodnik in Polish, which roughly means cold soup, but it is also known as barszcz na zimno (cold borscht). The recipe is very simple with the trickiest part being getting your hands on proper sour milk and very young fresh beets with leaves. It is possible to substitute sour milk with kefir, buttermilk or natural yoghurt, but beets are rather irreplaceable.

You will need:

Bunch of very young beets with leaves, say, 200-500 g (beets shouldn’t be bigger than a lime to give you an idea what I mean by young) young beets

1litre sour milk 200 ml of

200 ml sour cream (optionally)


2 hard boiled eggs

Also, whichever you like of these: dill, radish, spring onion, chives, parsley, garlic.

There are two methods of making chłodnik.

  1. Chop beets, cook them for 10 minutes and leave them in the water to cool down. When completely cold add sour milk and sour cream or:
  2. Cook whole beets, take them out of the water, cool down and chop. Add them to sour milk and sour cream and use some of the leftover water to balance the colour and flavour. For both methods remember to mix sour milk very well to liquidise all the curds.
Stages of making sour milk and beets soup

I prefer the first method because I care much more for not wasting the ingredients than balancing the colour. If your peasant genes are not as prevalent as mine and you are more on the sophisticated side, use the second one, of course. Anyway, to finish your soup add chopped cucumber and/or dill, radish, spring onion, chives, parsley, garlic. Season generously with salt and black pepper as the taste of the cold food tends to be less intensive than hot. Place in the fridge for at least two hours. In the meantime boil eggs hard. Add them chopped or halved to the soup before serving. Traditionally, however, chłodnik was served not with eggs but crayfish (crawfish) or cooked veal. On the other hand, in one of the most modern variations eggs are replaced with avocado. So, if you are a lucky owner of a garden patch with beets, please try this recipe on a hot summer day. And share your thoughts! PS. The Polish food industry never fails to surprise me. Look what I found online: sour milk soup As I said, chłodnik is very popular in Poland, but I didn’t know people are THAT desperate.


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